Dear Aunt Sallie,
Thank you for your high school graduation gift! I wish you and Uncle Freddie could have made it to my party, but I understand that you’re very busy around this time of the year. Your lavish check is so appreciated. I’ll be able to use it to pay for my first year of college!
I do have one question: why did you send all of this paperwork with your gift? You must’ve wanted my autograph for when I am a world-renowned academic, liberating the planet of its capitalist enslavement. Oh well. I know you’ll keep my Social Security number in a safe place!
I have learned so much in my freshman year of college and have you to thank for all of it. This year, I took courses on Modern Chinese Lithography, Theories and Practices of Yogic Ideas, the Meta-Ethics of Human Enhancement, and other important areas of study.
Your generous check also helped me make many new friends with other students. I was able to purchase a seven-year supply of red Solo cups and Bagel Bites for all of my academic and social gatherings. My Facebook is now overflowing with friend requests. Thank you!
I’m looking forward to a sophomore year full of new experiences and challenging coursework. My goal is to work in a non-profit organization to educate the impoverished about sustainable, vegan, gluten-free farming practices in Southeast Asia. I know I will make a real difference in the lives of animals and people everywhere.
Thank you again for all the cash! I expected a call from you after my last letter, but I suppose you were busy. No worries!
This year I studied abroad in sunny New Zealand. While I was there, I learned about wild yeast fermentation and how to make clothing and pillows with the ever-versatile hemp plant. Did you know that hemp has over 200 uses?
I also did a short tour of Europe with a couple of friends. We had so much fun! I had some money left over from your check and bought myself a gorgeous Chloe bag to commemorate the trip. All the fashion magazines say it is totally an investment piece!
Next year I’ll be a senior. I’m ready to graduate and start changing the world for the better. While I am thankful for your financial aid, I wish I knew a little more about you. Let’s work on that this year!
Talk to you soon,
Graduation day is finally here! You’ve stuck by my side from the beginning and I want to tell you how grateful I am for your unwavering support. I couldn’t have done it without you.
What is up with all of these phone calls? Your robot minions have been calling me, my parents, and my second cousin twice removed several times a day asking for $800. And they don’t even pronounce my name correctly. I thought we were close!
This all must be a misunderstanding. I knew your checks were not completely free money, but can’t we arrange a better payment schedule, or more flexible terms? As you probably know, the job market is pretty barren right now. Let’s try to work something out.
I’ve taken on several new part-time jobs while I am repaying you. That college degree has come in handy — I’m now slinging espresso at the Bikini Barista stand!
Who knew that all of that fine print I signed years ago at the age of 17 signed me up for a 20-year relationship with you? Apparently, you can garnish my wages, my federal tax return, and even my parents’ Social Security payments. Phew, there’s no escaping you!
Attention SLM Corporation:
My research has led me to understand that you are not, in fact, the 80-year-old grandmotherly type who enjoys knitting, rocking chairs, and a good cup of Darjeeling. Instead, you are a loan company with over $86 billion in holdings that is directly financed with taxpayer money.
In fact, I’d go so far as to call you a parasite. In 2010, you spent more money on lobbying against legislation you didn’t like than the National Rifle Association or the ACLU. You must know that the repercussions of your loans last a lifetime, yet the terms of those loans are almost impossible for even the smartest high school graduates to understand. While it’s true that you help students who otherwise might not be able to afford a higher education, you also force many of them to give up so much of their financial future.
I don’t have the resources or, frankly, the will to fight you anymore. So I’m instead creating a new identity for me and my family. We’ll be moving to a remote island in the South Pacific, with no phones or e-mail access. Thank god we still have all those red plastic cups.